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Paris 2024: the Olympic flame has come to life

The race towards the Olympic Games begins

On Tuesday 16 April, the Olympic Flame of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games was lit in front of the ancient ruins of the Temple of Hera at the archaeological site of Olympia. This solemn moment marked the beginning of the flame’s journey from Greece to the French capital, where the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games will be held on 26 July.

The lighting ceremony

Olympia is the birthplace of the ancient Games and dates back some 2,600 years. Despite a cloudy sky that prevented the sun’s rays from converging inside a cylindrical parabolic mirror, the flame was lit using a spare one created the day before. An emotional ceremony that linked the modern games to their ancient origins.

The Olympic flame: symbol of unity and resilience

Traditionally, the Olympic flame represented the positive values associated with fire, such as peace and friendship. Today, as the world is shaken by so many crises, the Olympic flame symbolises hope and unity. This is the appeal made by IOC President Thomas Bach, who said: ‘In these difficult times, when wars and conflicts increase, people have had enough of hatred. In our hearts we long for something that brings us together again, something that gives us hope. The Olympic flame we light today symbolises this hope.”

The journey of the torch

The flame will embark on an approximately 100-day journey, crossing the Peloponnese before heading by boat to France. It is scheduled to arrive in Marseille on 8 May, ahead of the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

France in the spotlight

From 8 May 2024, the Olympic Torch will showcase the beauty and diversity of France. Each stage of its journey will be an opportunity to celebrate the history, exceptional landscapes, knowledge, traditions and talents of this country. From the vineyards of Champagne to the beaches of the Côte d’Azur, from the majestic Pyrenees to the streets of Paris, the Olympic Torch will light up every corner of France.

Sport and relays

The Olympic torch passed into the hands of Stefanos Ntouskos, Olympic rowing champion at Tokyo 2020, arrived in those of French swimmer Laure Manaudou, who won her first Olympic title in the 400 m freestyle at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. A total of 69 baton changes will take place. Each team will add unusual and spectacular elements, also raising awareness of Paralympic sport. Each relay will represent a unique opportunity with the involvement of the public to share moments of joy, passion and sport. It will be an opportunity to experience the values of sharing and team spirit, values deeply rooted in the world of the Olympic Games.

The Olympic Torch, with its eternal light, reminds us that together we can overcome every obstacle and reach new heights. May this great celebration of world sport continue to unite and inspire us.



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